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Full text of "Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Special Boundary Study: June 1989 Newsletter"

HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK 



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special boundary study 

june 1989 newsletter 



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DEPOSITORS 
JUL 21^89 




United States Depar 1i 

NATIONAL P/lli 

HARPERS FERRY NATIO 

RO. B 

HARPERS FER 



Dear Public Officials 
Landowners 
Civil War Enthusiasts 
Tourism Officials 
Park and Rural Landscape Preservationists 
Park Visitors 
Local Residents 



The National Park Service welcomes your participa 

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the la 
leads to perpetuating the rural setting surrounding 
traffic gridlock, and the disappearance of a quality < 
Ferry. 

The future is now. Its consequences will be brougl 
determine if the educational, recreational, inspirati 
into the 21st century. Change is inevitable; there 
boundary study will be completed by December of 11 



DnrmlHW f!«mnhpll / 



Donald W.Campbell 
Superintendent 



ent of the Interior 

; SERVICE 

i HISTORICAL PARK 

65 

WV 25425 




1 in this special boundary study. 

adjacent to it are at a crossroads. One road 
> park. The other road leads to urban sprawl, 
fe that people have come to enjoy at Harpers 



lto focus by this study. The road taken will 
I, and tourism values of the park will endure 
lain only choices. It is anticipated that the 



••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••nol 



In 1988, Congress authorized a special boundary study to address 
land issues brought about by increasing suburban sprawl 
adjacent to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The purpose 
of the boundary study is to analyze significant historic and scenic 
lands that are integral to the park and to identify methods for 
protecting those lands. 



In February 1989 the National Park Service assigned a team of 
planners to begin work on the boundary study. As a first step in 
planning, the team held a public workshop on March 11 in 
Leetown, West Virginia, to gather ideas and opinions. 
Approximately 40 people attended the workshop, and more than 
50 letters were submitted during the subsequent comment period. 
Public comments, which are summarized at the end of the 
newsletter, focused on the scope of the study and what methods 
should be used to protect significant lands and resources. Based 
on those comments, the team has identified major issues, study 
areas, and land protection options to be considered in the 
boundary study. In the coming months this information will be 
used to develop strategies to protect lands within the study areas. 
All actions will be in conformance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation 
Act. 



*•••••••••••••••••••* 



ISSUES 




4 

Looking east from School House Ridge 



visitation is approaching 1 million and is expected to continue to 
rise through the next century. Population growth and the influx 
of tourists have resulted in significant traffic increases. Heavy 
traffic on Route 340 has required a bypass, now under 
construction around Charles Town. 



In 1988 Jefferson County officials recognized this population 
explosion and enacted a zoning ordinance - the first in West 
Virginia. The ordinance defines residential and commercial 
growth areas in the county, but it is economically based and fails 
to distinguish between the lands that were significant in Harpers 
Ferry's history and other lands in the county. 

The national historical park is at a crossroads. The knowledge 
and inspiration it provides to visitors, the positive image it brings 
to the tri-state region, and the significant role it plays in the 
regional tourism economy can no longer be taken for granted. 
Difficult decisions about the park's future lie ahead. When the 
special boundary study is completed, it will help guide those 
decisions and shape the park as it moves into the 21st century. 



••••••••••••••••••••••••••••a* 







SIEGE OF HARPERS FERRY 



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STUDY AREA 
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LAND PROTECTION METHODS 



The legislation that authorized the Harpers Ferry special 
boundary study recommended the use of both nonfederal and 
federal methods to protect nationally significant historic and 
scenic lands in and near Harpers Ferry. A wide variety of 
protection methods will be considered in this study, including the 
following: 



Nonfederal Methods 

• purchase by land trusts and private not-for-profit 
organizations 

• zoning to protect from incompatible development 

• tax incentives for landowners 

• private ownership protection 

Federal Methods 

• scenic or agricultural easements (the federal government 
acquires specified rights to the land, but the land remains in 
private ownership) 

• purchase by the federal government and sell back to the 
private individual with restrictions attached to the deed 

• lease of land to the federal government (the land remains in 
private ownership) 

• lease back (the federal government acquires the land and 
leases it to the private individual) 

• cooperative agreements with landowners 

• fee acquisition of the land for inclusion within the park 



••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••l 



COMMENTS FROM THE MARCH 11, 1989, WORKSHOP 

A public workshop was held on March 11, 1989, to begin the 
planning process. Following an introduction by Superintendent 
Campbell and a slide presentation on the two initial study areas, 
the 40+ participants separated into six work groups to discuss 
issues and concerns relating to land areas adjacent to the park. 
The discussions focused on the School House Ridge battlefield 
area and the downriver viewshed from Jefferson Rock, but other 
areas deserving study were identified during the workshop and 
in subsequent letters. Each work group prepared a list of 
concerns, which were then presented to all participants. 
Comments and concerns generally fell into three broad 
categories. 



Protection 

Protection of the historical and scenic qualities of the study areas 
was seen as a positive action. Comments included the following: 

Zoning can protect but it is not permanent. 

Consider cooperative agreements. 

Easements are not usually enforced. 

Existing owners should be protected (i.e., lifetime tenancy). 

The study areas are worth saving. 

Deal with the old orchard site immediately. 

Encourage new zoning categories to protect the land. 

Consider lease purchase. 

Consider fee purchase. 

Consider controlled development (deed covenants). 

Consider buffer zones. 

Consider scenic easements. 

Begin the application process for landmark status. 

Local organizations should advocate preservation. 

National support is needed. 



••••••••••••• 



FUTURE ACTION 




The next step in planning for the boundary study is to evaluate 
the importance of the study areas and suggest alternatives for 
their protection. We hope to complete this work and have a draft 
document ready for review by the fall of this year. As the study 
progresses, we will keep you informed through press releases and 
public meetings and will provide opportunities for you to 
comment. 

Following is a schedule of study tasks: 



Task 

Draft study to public 

Public workshop 

Close of comments on draft study 

Final study to public 



Estimated 
Completion Date 

October 1989 
October 1989 
November 1989 
January 1990 



We plan to meet with individual landowners in the study areas 
this summer to review the study and discuss protection options. 
Meetings can be arranged by contacting park resource 
management specialist Bill Hebb at (304) 535-6371, ext. 6338. A 
park representative will meet privately with you. 

Thank you for your interest in this project. Your continued 
involvement in the study effort is important to its success. If you 
have any additional comments, please send them to 



Superintendent Donald W. Campbell 
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park 
P.O. Box 65 
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425 



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